When I left my apartment this morning, I didn’t intend to end up tied to a chair with a gag in my mouth. You got lucky. I was distracted because I thought I’d seen him. While my body rewired itself to comprehend fear, love, and hate once again you attacked me. I could have fought you than, but I was stuck on his face.

Ambrose. Ambrose.

My mind jumped back too far into the past and left my body in the present. I was again a young woman, a new mother, a wife—being turned into something of nightmares. Ambrose felt my daughter kick, his hand rested on my stomach like a feather. He kissed my husband’s cheek, and they held each other in a tight hug. He walked in and out of our home because we trusted him. Ambrose was loved like a relic in our household. We believed him to be divine. My husband once asked me if I would be married to him if Ambrose approached my parents first. I lied to my husband.

I resented Ambrose, when he first turned me into a predator that needs humanity’s beating heart to survive. Hated him with the passion one can only hate family. That night, when I woke up, he tried to have me feed from a young girl wearing a golden cloth dress—I ran out on him. I did eventually feed. I had to, death was never an option. Even as a little girl, death was never a thing I wanted to play with. I could always sense the spilt second before something went from dangerous to deadly.

Ambrose’s touch felt to gentle to be sharp.

I am followed by the echoes that bounce off the walls and dance around me, taunting me with the memories of who I use to be: a young girl from a village of fabrics. My mother use to be particularly skilled at garments. Her face is gone now. I suppose, as the centuries passed, I lost it in the memories of different lives I took on to survive.

The only face that remains in my memories, carved into me, is his. My own daughter, I can’t picture her anymore. Sometimes I try to imagine her. Did she look like me? Or her father? I could have gone back, seen her though the shadows but what good would that have done either of us. She a faceless baby in the dark that I mourn. All that is left is Ambrose and pain on my neck that never quite stop throbbing, even after all these years. He’s a ghost made up of my resentment, my guilt and even my love. For I did love him; I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t. Ambrose was beautiful.

His touch felt like the wind if it could hold you.

He turned me because he believed that I was more, that I had to be this because human was not enough to hold me. Do you think, if he could see me now, that he would still believe the same? He thought that I would become a virus and scrub the earth clean. There were moments when I felt his hand in history, but I never meddled in masters of humanity. Now that I think back, I know he is the devil humans fear so much living with in their midst. Those first few decades I did leave blood rivers though villages, but I grew bored of that fast. Maybe he wanted me to rise to power and have man bend the knee. Blood lust came with the new DNA change, but no power lust. Shame. I suppose it doesn’t matter. I am what I am. I’ve lived a long life, you see. I’ve watched the sun rise more times than any other species still roaming—which is why killing you will be easy for me.

You poor little thing, you’re the monster of your household. I can see it while you eye me from the other side of the room, the blood lust that drives you. It will shatter your prospective of life when I turn into the monster humans fear lies in waiting beneath their beds. I will tell you one truth that I have learned in my long life: no one is hungrier for inflecting pain than humanity. I suppose that was one of the gifts he claimed to have given me.

I am no longer part of humanity.

Do mind if I ask you something? Do you think he is looking for me now? Were these millennia him taunting me? From predator to predator, be honest.

It’s comical watching you take me in. You are planning to rape me, maybe even keep me for a while. I am not your first either; you don’t pace around the room. You walk with confidence of a predator—I should know.

Something’s off about me, though. You can see it. You can smell it. The scent of blood. You hold your composure well; I will give you that. There no visible signs that you give that show the hesitation in your actions. But I can smell it on you.

Step a little closer; I won’t torment you like you want to do to me. I don’t care for the screams; I just need to feed.

You’re approaching. Good. I haven’t feed in weeks. I don’t need to feed every day, at least a couple of times every few months. But still, you’ve presented yourself, placed yourself on a platter. How can I resist that? No one will miss you, unless you have a family, but even then, they’ll be better off without you.

I wonder: my daughter was she better without me? I never even saw her take her first steps, you know. I imagine her first words were questioning my whereabouts, which of course isn’t possible. Did my husband tell her that I loved them both? Enough to keep the monsters outside our door. Ambrose held her once—just once. My husband, I remember him handing her over while I still recovered from the deliver. There was no fear. I should have been afraid. But Ambrose he touched the soil and the earth flourished.

Hello. You tilt your head, this way, that way. Yes, go ahead take a good look. I don’t mind. Just a little closer. I’m getting impatient.

I resist the urge to pounce as soon as you untie my hands. A hand around my throat? Really? Oh, but what pleasure it brings you, so unremarkable. I can hear the blood pumping in your veins. You feel so strong throwing me to the floor. I hit the floor with extra dramatism, pretend it hurts my back. The floor is cold but clean. How sanitary, how clever you believe yourself to be. Not a trace of what you have done.

Your hands are smooth, you’ve never worked hard in your life. Is this how you try to prove yourself? Take woman from the streets, turn them into sex dolls that you can then cut into when you’re done.

Oh, your smile. It’s rare to bring an emotion out of me lately. The last time I cried was the night I was turned and realized I could never see my girl grow into her woman. But you, that smile. I run my tongue over my teeth to sooth them, keep them inside while you rub yours hands over my body. It bothers you that I am unresponsive. The past woman cried before, or maybe they even fought you the moment you tried to get them on the floor.

I am getting bored of this game.

It arouses you to pin my hands above my head. You smell like sandalwood. Did your girlfriend get that for you? I hope she doesn’t mourn you for too long. I hope my husband didn’t mourn me for too long. Did he let my mother help him with our little girl? I hope so.

“Don’t scream,” you say, breathing like a sick bear on my neck. You struggle to unzip your pants and hold down. It would give me away to laugh, I haven’t had a good laugh in a while.

I smile. It disturbs you. Once again you hesitate.

I can’t lie to you; I take a little pleasure from the screams from time to time. Did Ambrose take pleasures from my screams? I’ve changed my mind. Why should I let you die without pain after what you’ve done? I want to hear you scream.

You move to take off my jeans. In the second you move, distract from your grip, I turn on you. For you it happened in less than a blink. One moment you had a woman’s life between your hands, the next she has your life in hers. Your eyes, they’re so wide.

“Don’t scream,” I say, taking a bite.